Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Canning tomatoes...

I don't know about any of you, but I have never 'canned' anything in my entire life...until now. I work for an herbal manufacturing company and one of our employee benefits is that we get fresh produce every summer. Our company has a 250 acre organic farm in which we grow herbs to manufacture and every year they have the farm help plant, maintain and harvest all the fresh vegatables that we could even imagine. We have had fresh corn, beets, zucchini, basil, parsley, all kinds of 'peppers, watermelons, cucumbers and tomatoes. And when I say tomatoes, I mean tomatoes. I have brought home over 4 boxes of tomatoes and my mom and I have 'canned' them. I remember her canning when I was very young, but I have never done it. I was a little bit intimated at the thought, but nonetheless, I set out to tackle learning how. I went over to my mom's house after church this past Sunday and we went to work.
It wasn't all that hard, it was just time consuming. I never knew that there were so many steps involved. Thankfully I was doing this with my mother, who knew what she was doing. It took use many hours to get them all done, but I have to say, when it was all over and I was loading up 'my stash' of the finished product, it felt really good to have accomplished this. My dad snapped this picture of me and my mom as we were bringing out the first completed jars of the tomatoes.

It is something I would do again. It was a wonderful afternoon with my parents. It was my mother handing down a 'way of life' that I had yet to encounter. I am 40 years old and I now know how to can. vegatables. It made us feel so domesticated. It made me want to 'put up' more vegatables and make preserves and jams. Oh Lord, what I have gotten myself into? Have a nice day, Cherri

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Labor Day, Waterfalls and Hiking...

We live in the mountains of Western North Carolina in an area that is known as 'The Land of the Waterfalls'. We have over 250 waterfalls in our county. So, we decided to get out of the house for Labor Day and go exploring. Tiffany was the only 'child of ours' with us. She had us all to herself. (that hasn't happened in a long time) First stop, after an hour drive, was at the Rib Shack in Highlands, NC. We have been there before and remembered that it was a quaint little place that had good BBQ. (my husband loves good BBQ) Then, we were fueled with energy to go tackle the Falls. We First went up to Bridal Veil Falls. In this first picture Tiffany and her daddy are standing under Bridal Veil Falls. I know you can barely see them, but I wanted to show the height of the entire falls. Don't worry, I show them closer up in the next photo. Here I zoomed in closer and it looks like the water is hitting them. It is actually in front of them. You can drive your car behind these falls. I think it is a cool shot. White Water Falls was our next stop. This was our first time here so we were up to exploring the whole area. It was about a 1/2 mile hike to the falls but there were several 'look out' spots along the way that we stopped for photo opportunities. Here is my husband 'pretending' to 'hold' the mountain. He is such a goof-ball. (I love that about him) Here is Tiffany climbing the side of the mountain. She was such a climber all day long. She has those long legs and she's only twelve so she has the energy to 'tackle' any mountain.
Here she is at the top. (well, only as far as we would let her climb-she probably would have kept right on going if we had let her). It is really way up there.
Here is White Water Falls. It is a 411 foot cascading waterfal. It was absolutely beautiful. When I stand in front of something like this, I just become even more in awe of God than I already am. He is so amazing and His creation never ceases to blow me away.
So, speaking of, it's the young one that is supposed to have all the energy, I ended up carrying her 'piggy-back' for a little while by the time we were making our way back down. (not really, we were just posing for a picture) We had an awesome day filled with fresh air, beautiful views, great food and a very special time for just the three of us.